Ohio State Duo Makes History with NCAA Doubles Title
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Chase Buchanan and Blaz Rola came up short in their bid to lead the Ohio State men’s tennis team to an NCAA team championship a week ago, but the duo made history Monday afternoon.
With their 7-6(4), 6-3 victory over Texas Tech’s Raony Carvalho and Gonzalo Escobar, Buchanan and Rola not only captured the NCAA doubles championship, they became the first tandem in history to win all three major collegiate championships in the same season.
“They’ve done a great job together and they’re both captains,” head coach Ty Tucker said.
“They always came to play and they complement each other so well, it’s unbelievable what they have accomplished. I’m extremely proud of both of them. Nobody deserves this more than Chase and now Blaz too.”
Buchanan — a senior out of New Albany — and Rola — sophomore from Slovenia — were upset in their doubles match during the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament, but they still entered the doubles tournament as the No. 1 team and seed in the country.
Their loss to UCLA’s Alex Brigham and Adrien Puget may have bounced the Buckeyes out of the team portion of the 2012 NCAA Division I Men’s Tennis Championship, but Buchanan and Rola had a 14-0 record during the three championship runs and for the season amassed a 36-4 overall record.
They were 18-1 against nationally-ranked opponents, and added their NCAA title to the ones they already won at the D’Novo/ITA All-America Championships and USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships.
“We found out about the triple crown yesterday,” Rola said.
“We certainly felt the adrenaline rush on the match points and it felt great to be able to have that opportunity. So many great doubles teams have played in college tennis and to be the only team to accomplish this is unbelievable.”
Buchanan and Rola have played together the last two seasons and quickly became one of the most dominant doubles pairings in all of college tennis. With 112 career doubles victories, Buchanan is sixth in the Buckeye records book and having collected 44 doubles wins in 2011-12, owns the Ohio State single-season doubles record.
“We spend a ton of time together every day at home and we have a great relationship,” said Buchanan, whose 220 combined singles and doubles wins place him sixth on Ohio State’s all-time list.
“We’ve played together for the past two years now pretty much and we obviously practice together a lot. We understand where we can help each other and what positions on the court are best suited for our styles. We do a great job of understanding what we do well on the court together.”
How it Went Down: Doubles Championship
Despite being down a break early in the first set (3-1), Buchanan and Rola were back on serve entering the ninth game (4-4) and took a 5-4 lead before a rain delay forced play indoors.
Both teams remained on serve until the Buckeyes took control in the first-set tiebreaker, winning 7-4. Buchanan and Rola jumped out to a 2-0 advantage in the second set and held their break throughout the set for the eventual 6-3 final.
2012 NCAA Division I Men’s Tennis Doubles Championship
Monday, May 28
Dan Magill Tennis Complex
First Round: No. 1 Chase Buchanan/Blaz Rola (Ohio State) def. Joey Burkhardt/Jose Hernandez (UNC), 7-6, 7-6
Round of 16: No. 1 Chase Buchanan/Blaz Rola (Ohio State) def. Dennis Nevolo/Roy Kalmanovich (Illinois), 6-7 (2), 6-2, 6-1
Quarterfinals: No. 1 Chase Buchanan/Blaz Rola (Ohio State) def. No. 7 Panav Jha/Eric Quigley (Kentucky), 6-3, 6-4
Semifinals: No. 1 Chase Buchanan/Blaz Rola (Ohio State) def. Costin Paval/Dane Webb (Oklahoma), 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
Final: No. 1 Chase Buchanan/Blaz Rola (Ohio State) def. Raony Carvalho/Gonzalo Escobar (Texas Tech), 7-6(4), 6-3
Donate by Check :
1380 King Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43212
Help us bring you more Buckeye coverage. Donate to the-Ozone.
Click here to email this the-Ozone feature to a friend...or even a foe.
(c) 2010 The O-Zone, O-Zone Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, rebroadcast,rewritten, or redistributed.